Neal Keny-Guyer SOM ’82, the chief executive officer of the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, has been elected to a six-year term on the Yale Corporation.

Yale alumni who voted over the past two months chose Keny-Guyer for one of the Corporation’s six alumni fellow seats, effective July 1. He will replace Jeffrey Koplan ’66, the vice president for global health at Emory University, whose term on the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, ends this month.

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He beat out Nelson Cunningham ’80, managing partner at McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm in Washington, and Sharon Ruwart ’85, managing director of the Beijing office of APCO Worldwide, a global communications consulting firm, in the election.

“Neal is in many ways the typical SOM graduate of his time,” University President Richard Levin said in a telephone interview. “He has strong business skills but has committed himself to public leadership and made a real mark in the NGO world.”

Keny-Guyer, a member of the board of advisers for the School of Management, grew up in Tennessee and completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University. He joined Mercy Corps, which now has more than 3,700 employees stationed in over 40 countries around the globe, in 1994.

Associate Secretary and Director of Corporation Affairs Patricia Zandy said the voting participation rate this year was slightly lower than last year’s but “consistent with or slightly higher than votes cast” in the three years before 2008. Typically, around 20 to 25 percent of alumni cast ballots in the alumni fellow election.

In other Corporation news, the 16 fellows gathered on campus this past weekend for the group’s final meeting of the year.

Levin said the meeting provided the officers and fellows with a chance to reflect on the past year and to discuss the Corporation’s appraisal of the state of the University.

“Everyone recognizes that we can’t accomplish as much as we could have before the market downturn,” he said, “but the Corporation’s view of Yale remains extremely positive.”

He said the Corporation authorized the firm of Lord Norman Foster ARC ’62 to prepare final drawings for the new School of Management campus, even though he said the funds for the construction of the building itself have not yet been secured. Levin called Foster’s design for the complex “beyond fabulous.”

The Corporation also voted to make the Section of Emergency Medicine at the School of Medicine a full department.